Susanna McLeod

Susanna McLeod

Coming soon: In a Small Box of Chocolate, An Emmalene Morton Cozy Mystery Site. Please enjoy Glimpses of Canadian History Email Susanna McLeod at:

World’s First Woman War Correspondent, Kit Coleman

Walking a slim societal tightrope between suitable behaviour and her interests as a journalist, Kit Coleman stepped carefully but confidently into a ground-breaking career as a female writer. The first to lead her own section in a Canadian newspaper, Coleman was also the first accredited female war correspondent in the world. The journalism pioneer as… (read more)

Smallpox Devastated Canadian First Nations 1780 – 1782

The numbers killed were unclear, but the consequences of smallpox were heart-breaking for the natives in the Hudson’s Bay region of Canada. “Small pox is rageing [sic] all round us with great violence, sparing very few that take it,” wrote Hudson House Clerk William Walker on December 4, 1780. “We have received the News of… (read more)

Samuel Steel of the North West Mounted Police

The courageous, outspoken Samuel Benfield Steele was a Canadian hero, keeping order in the Klondike Gold Rush and leading soldiers during wartimes. He received knighthood in 1918. The direct, serious eyes of Sam Steele were a sign of the strength and leadership to come. Born at Purbrooke, Medonte Township near Orillia, Upper Canada (Ontario) on… (read more)

Jane Jacobs, Social Activist for Neighbourhood Living

An Order of Canada recipient, Jane Jacobs was a writer and social activist promoting green spaces, short commutes, and cities that can be “lived in.” “Cities have the capability,” Jane Jacobs said, “of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” Jane Jacobs believed in cities, big beautiful cities… (read more)

John Garand, Canadian-born Inventor of M1 Garand Rifle

Adept at engineering and inventing from a young age, Canadian John Garand produced the M1 Rifle, a semi-automatic rifle used by the United States Military 1937-1957. One of eleven children born to Jean Baptiste Garand and his wife, Elizabeth Edwidge Oligny, John Cantius Garand was a “middle child”, born on January 1, 1888. The family… (read more)

The Montreal Women’s Symphony Orchestra

Under Conductor Ethel Stark, the Montreal Women’s Symphony Orchestra was the first all-women orchestra in Canada. They reached the pinnacle of music performance in 1947. Eighty women gathered in Plateau Hall Auditorium in the City of Montreal, creating the wonderful strains of music that only a full range of symphony instruments in the hands of… (read more)

Captivating Carboniferous History of Nova Scotia

Imagine Nova Scotia as a tropical land, lush with greenery, animals and bug life. Hundreds of millions of years later, fossils tell the captivating story. Lush green ferns rustled as 6-foot-long centipedes scuttled across soft peat and leaves for cover. The cool rain fell, but it provided only a temporary respite from the steamy year-round… (read more)

Addie McCormick, Switchboard Operator and Heroine

As fire flared and smoke billowed close by, Addie McCormick stayed at her switchboard to warn guests and fellow workers to flee. Addie’s bravery cost her her life. Heroes come in all forms. They are not all caped crusaders, ready to take masked flight to save the day. The average person can have as much… (read more)

Canada’s First Electron Microscope 1938

Professor Burton and grad students Hillier and Prebus developed the first practical electron microscope that focused a beam of electrons for illumination As with most inventions in the world, advanced ideas build on the information of other bright ideas, and innovation climbs up to stand on the shoulders of previous innovation. Such was the case… (read more)

John Macoun, Renowned Canadian Botanist and Geologist

Enthusiastic in his second career, John Macoun’s extensive study of plant and animal life became the basis for today’s Canadian Museum of Nature. An immigrant from Northern Ireland at age 19, John Macoun came to Seymour Township, Upper Canada (now Eastern Ontario) in 1850 with his parents. He was born at Maralin, Ireland on April… (read more)